The Cost of Creativity: Why Some Artists Struggle to Justify Using Supplies

As an artist, it’s not uncommon to have a collection of art supplies that you’ve purchased with the intention of using, but for some reason, they remain untouched. This can be a frustrating experience, especially if you’ve invested a significant amount of money into your art materials. So, why don’t some artists use their tools?

For many artists, the act of creating can be a deeply personal and vulnerable process. It’s not uncommon for some to struggle with feelings of self-doubt and imposter syndrome, which can lead to a reluctance to use their tools and supplies.

One reason some artists don’t use their art supplies is fear. They may be afraid of making mistakes or not living up to their own expectations. This fear can be paralyzing and prevent them from picking up their paintbrushes or using their expensive paper.

Another reason is perfectionism. Some artists are perfectionists, and they may feel that their materials are too good to be used. They want everything to be perfect, and they may feel that their art supplies are too precious to waste on anything less than a masterpiece.

Additionally, some artists may struggle with creative block or lack of inspiration, which can make it difficult to find the motivation to use their tools.

Another factor contributing to neglecting opening up that fresh pack of pencils is not feeling worthy or enough. Artists may feel like they aren’t good enough or that they don’t deserve to indulge in the practice of art making and using such beautiful tools and equipment. This can also extend to not feeling worthy of spending money and time on themselves and their creative pursuits.

Artists – Use your supplies/ tools/ materials

So, how can artists overcome these obstacles and start using their tools?

  1. Let go of perfectionism: Perfectionism can be a significant barrier to creativity. Remember that making mistakes is a normal part of the creative process, and it’s okay to create something that’s not perfect.
  2. Start small: If fear is holding you back, start with small, low-pressure projects. For example, try sketching in a sketchbook or working on a small canvas. This can help you build confidence and get comfortable with your materials.
  3. Experiment: Try new techniques and materials to keep your art practice fresh and exciting. This can help you find inspiration and get excited about using your tools. Use what brings you joy!
  4. Make a plan: Set aside dedicated time to work on your art, and make a plan for what you want to create. Having a plan can help you stay focused and motivated.
  5. Build self-worth: Sometimes, not feeling worthy of using beautiful and expensive tools and equipment can be a barrier. It can be easy to feel like you don’t deserve to use your art supplies, and that creating art is a self-indulgent or selfish act. By working on building your self-esteem through therapy, self-reflection, or other self-care practices, you can learn to value yourself and your creative expression. You deserve it and you deserve to create and take up space!
  6. Remember why you started: Think about the reasons why you became an artist in the first place. Reconnecting with your passion and purpose can help you overcome any obstacles that are holding you back.

Some artists don’t use their tools because of fear, perfectionism, creative block, lack of inspiration, and feelings of self-worth. Overcoming these obstacles requires letting go of perfectionism, starting small, experimenting, making a plan, building self-worth, and reconnecting with your passion and purpose. It’s important for artists to recognize that these behaviours are common and that their creativity is valuable and worthy of exploration. By acknowledging these behaviours and taking small steps towards using their tools and supplies, artists can start to overcome their self-doubt and tap into their full potential as creators. Remember that art is a journey, and the most important thing is to enjoy the process and create for the sake of creating. Don’t let your art supplies go to waste, use them to express your creativity and bring your artistic vision to life.